The Opportunity

A member of the 23-campus California State University system, San Francisco State University (SF State) is a major public urban university, situated in one of the world’s great cities. Building on a century-long history of commitment to quality teaching and broad access to undergraduate and graduate education, the University offers comprehensive, rigorous, and integrated academic programs that require students to engage in open-minded inquiry and reflection. SF State encourages its students, faculty, and staff to engage fully with the community and develop and share knowledge. The University has an ambitious plan to become a residential campus by 2035 by increasing its housing capacity.

Inspired by the diversity of its community that includes many first-generation college students and the courage of an academic community that strives to break down traditional boundaries, SF State equips its students to meet the challenges of the 21st century. With the unwavering commitment to social justice that is central to the work of the University, SF State prepares its students to become productive, ethical, active citizens with a global perspective.

With about 30,000 students, SF State is nationally recognized for its commitment to the community and toward diversity of ideas. SF State holds the distinction as being one of only 62 colleges and universities nationwide to receive the Carnegie Foundation’s Community Engagement, Outreach and Partnership classification, recognizing SF State’s dedication to engagement.


The Position

Role of the Associate Vice President of Student Life & Dean of Students for San Francisco State University

Reporting to the vice president for student affairs & enrollment management, the associate vice president (AVP) for student life and dean of students is responsible for the strategic direction and oversight of the Division of Student Life (DSL), which includes the Office of the Dean of Students, New Student & Family Programs, Student Activities & Events, Residential Life, Campus Recreation, and the Office of Student Conduct. The AVP also serves as the administrative liaison to Associated Students, Inc., the shared governance auxiliary organization for students at SF State. The Division of Student Life facilitates student-centered learning through personal, community, and academic engagement with transformative experience as its goal.

The AVP serves as the Vice President’s designee, as needed. As an integral member of the Student Affairs & Enrollment Management’s Executive Team, the AVP plays a key role in the development of university policy and participates in institutional planning, evaluation, and assessment. In addition, the AVP advances the educational mission of the University and supports Graduation Initiative 2025 by providing leadership for co-curricular programs and activities that foster student development and success; enhance student engagement opportunities; improve the quality of campus life; facilitate students’ holistic integration into university life; and promote positive campus climate.

The AVP provides institutional leadership for developing, delivering, evaluating, and refining a cohesive and coordinated vision for student life on campus that supports student access, learning, and success. This position advocates for a student-responsive institutional focus, fosters a culture of excellence and quality service orientation within all areas of responsibility, conveys the needs and interests of students in university decision-making, and advocates for students voices in institutional shared governance. The AVP meets with student groups and student leaders; responds to student crises, issues, and concerns; mobilizes campus resources to respond to emergencies, crisis situations, and disruptions that involve students; maintains a visible presence at activities and programs sponsored by student organizations; mediates conflict to promote outcomes that support student learning and well-being; guides, supports, and evaluates unit managers and office staff; facilitates assessment, program review, quality improvement, and the adoption of new technologies and strategies that are data-driven; manages budgets, personnel, and other resources in a manner that is efficient and demonstrates effective stewardship; and ensures compliance with applicable laws, policies, and regulations.

The AVP is expected to work some weekends and be on-call during campus closure dates. It is imperative that the new AVP be able to competently interact with a culturally and ethnically diverse population of students, faculty, and staff.

History of the Position

The Division of Student Life at SF State is very young; only existing for roughly ten (10) years. The Division was created with the purpose of facilitating student-centered learning through personal, community, and academic engagement, culminating in a transformative experience for all students.

This AVP position has experienced a great deal of instability over the past few years. The current contracted interim, Trey Williams, continues to do exceptional work with the staff and students while a national search is conducted.

SF State is searching for a dynamic leader to help the Division of Student Life realize all their potential. This truly is an outstanding team with a genuine passion for SF State and the students. They need an AVP to actively engage, support, empower and advocate for them and their services, programs, and initiatives.

Opportunities and Challenges of the Role

The new AVP will encounter the opportunities and challenges listed below.

SF State has a large commuter student population including students living campus adjacent and others that are more removed from campus. While the institution continues to enhance its residential programs through initiatives targeting on-campus students and services that connect them to the residential experience, the needs of commuter students must also be equally addressed, as well as creating a means to bond the entire student community.

SF State has a large, diverse student population. The University is deeply committed to cultural and ethnic diversity, support of international students, students with disabilities, veterans, LGBTQ students, first-generation students and other underrepresented populations—and encourages a culture of equity and inclusion. The AVP and their staff will be expected to continue to develop programs and services that align with those broader institutional characteristics and values.

The Division of Student Life is young and has struggled with consistent leadership. The staff is truly incredible with a steadfast dedication to their work and the students. There is a strong work ethic and positive energy within Student Life and the entire Student Affairs & Enrollment Management cabinet area due to a shared commitment to student success. The staff need an experienced leader to infuse new energy, innovative ideas, and build on the momentum that the division’s leadership team (the area Directors) has built over the last few years. In addition, the AVP will find a peer group and colleagues who are welcoming, promote open communication, emphasize an orientation toward service, and share a desire for a progressive and forward-thinking professional.

In transitioning to SF State, the AVP will also encounter the following opportunities, priorities, and challenges, as shared by university stakeholders in meetings with Spelman Johnson.

  • The AVP will need to build strong collegial relationships with key institutional leaders including academic colleagues and the Associated Students Inc.
  • The AVP is expected to be a well-informed advocate for the resource needs of the offices in the portfolio. It would also be beneficial if the new AVP has grant or fundraising experience to help the division move forward with their great ideas. A clear expectation exists to do more with less.
  • This AVP’s portfolio includes many offices which serve on the front line during a crisis. The AVP must have a demonstrated record of leadership in managing crisis and student issues with the ability to remain calm, constructive, and sensitive to multiple constituents in response to crisis situations, while guiding others through these critical times with a strong sense of empathy and care.
  • SF State needs to build a strong community identity which unites and inspires the entire community. The AVP will work with the division to create this unique SF State identity through the offerings of Student Life and other partnerships.
  • The AVP will embrace this mission of SF State and ensure that all programs, services, initiatives, and endeavors of the division align with and support this mission and the students of SF State.
  • The new AVP must have an exceptional student development background coupled with strong organizational management, supervisory skills, and the ability to strategically think and work on a broader scale well beyond the day-to-day functions. The AVP is expected to share in leadership decisions and initiatives focused on the future of not just the division but also the institution.
  • The AVP will have knowledge of and experience implementing best practices, technology, and strong policies, systems, and procedures to both increase efficiencies and improve staff and student satisfaction.

Measures of Success

At an appropriate interval after joining SF State, the following items will define initial success for the AVP.

  • The AVP has embraced the opportunity for innovative campus partnerships resulting in truly connected programming.
  • The AVP authentically and regularly communicates with students to better understand their needs and provides strategic, development support to facilitate their success.
  • The AVP is a caring person willing to authentically communicate to better understand the students’ needs.
  • The AVP has established strong working connections with all members of the Student Affairs & Enrollment Management’s Executive Team.
  • The AVP has thoroughly and thoughtfully assessed the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of the Division’s operational and fiscal infrastructure and has developed a set of recommendations to move the department to its next best iteration that serves the campus and is aligned with promising, progressive practices within the field.
  • The AVP has formulated and articulated a clear vision that focuses the work of all functions in their portfolio on student success, advocacy, and retention.
  • The AVP has built a strong team that feels supported, valued, empowered, and unified by a common direction, vision, and set of clear priorities; the staff feel as if they have a strong leader to provide stability and advocate for their needs.
  • The AVP with the rest of Student Life are working to establish a vibrant campus life with students by being involved, accessible, visible, and engaged in all aspects of campus life. The Division of Student Life has a clear and gregarious presence on campus.
  • The AVP is considered a knowledgeable and trusted partner with stakeholders across campus and in the broader community.
  • The AVP, along with staff, will be working on a multi-year strategic plan which supports both the division’s new strategic plan, as well as the institution’s.
  • The campus community knows all about Student Life, their programs, services, and how this division impacts student success.


Qualifications and Characteristics

The successful candidate will possess a master’s degree in higher education administration, student affairs, or a related field and at least ten (10) years of progressively responsible and relevant experience in student affairs administration, preferably within a comprehensive university with a highly diverse student population. In addition, the new AVP will have a demonstrated track record of accomplishment and leadership; significant experience facilitating change, allocating and managing resources, supervising staff, and managing facilities; and evidence of a strong commitment and ability to uphold the educational equity goals of the University and it’s increasingly diverse ethnic, cultural, and international character.

Preferred qualifications include: an earned doctorate in a relevant discipline; understanding of the California State University, University of California, or other large public higher education system; experience and expertise in working with students in an urban university setting; familiarity working in a collective bargaining environment; demonstrated experience with advancing campus-wide initiatives that improve student success; record of effectively managing complex budget portfolios, including revenue-generating enterprises; and a demonstrated track record of responsible management of fiscal, facility, and personnel resources in a publicly controlled institution.

The successful candidate will embody the six roles of a leader:

  • Structuring work: effectively manage and direct workflow, create clear position descriptions, clarify roles and expectation and delegate work.
  • Managing Talent: hire, coach, and support employees.
  • Inspiring Performance: empower, appreciate, and communicate constructive feedback.
  • Building Teams: build trust and collaborate.
  • Using and Sharing Information: open communication and transparency.
  • Facilitating Change: encourage others to see opportunities for different innovative approaches to problems and opportunities; facilitating the implementation and acceptance of change within the workplace.

Further, the next AVP will also embody these core competencies:

  • Bias toward collaboration and teamwork.
  • Effective oral, written, and nonverbal communication skills.
  • Customer/client focus with an emphasis on problem solving and resolution.
  • Personal effectiveness and credibility as demonstrated by interpersonal and professional confidence.
  • Diversity and inclusion.

In addition to the above-stated qualifications and characteristics, SF State stakeholders identified the following characteristics as important for the position (in no particular order):

  • a passion for working with, and advocating for, students while developing a broad understanding of the total student experience at SF State with an unwavering commitment to student success;
  • serve as a true advocate and “face” for the entire department, positively representing their work and needs effectively to leadership and the campus community;
  • experience leading in a culture of change, with the capacity to motivate staff to accept and embrace change;
  • proven record of accessing organizations, revamping policies and procedures, and using technological advances to enhance efficiencies;
  • credible, engaging, supportive, and approachable supervisor with knowledge of the responsibilities of each staff member’s position, respect for their work and contributions, and a proficiency at advocating for the programs and other needs of staff and students;
  • possess a demonstrated record of cultural competence and high degree of emotional intelligence;
  • maintain an unwavering passion for serving students—including a deep interest in supporting the needs of underrepresented, marginalized, and first-generation students;
  • demonstrated collaborations with faculty and other campus departments in improving programs and services that enhance student success;
  • proven ability to deal with conflict, effectively work with staff members at various levels of development and knowledge, and demonstrate authenticity, passion, and care in all endeavors;
  • an exemplary leader in student affairs where responsibility for a broad spectrum of student development, wellness, the creation of a positive learning environments, and the engagement of students in the life of the campus community are a primary focus;
  • demonstrated leadership ability with excellent management skills and the ability to build a solid framework to effectively develop and manage a complex organization;
  • embrace innovation and creativity, and willing to try new services and/or approaches to most effectively meet the needs of the students;
  • strong team-building approach that continues to foster a positive relationship among the entire staff; capacity to equally hold staff accountable and celebrate accomplishments and positive contributions;
  • possess a deep understanding of principles of diversity and social justice, with the ability to enhance equity and inclusive communities with students and staff of various social, cultural, and educational backgrounds;
  • strong future thinker and collaborator committed to advancing student success to the entire campus community;
  • compassionate, accessible, transparent, ethical leader with excellent communication skills to clearly articulate vision, direction, and purpose and earn the respect and confidence of the faculty, staff, and students;
  • experience managing large, complex budgets and comfort with technological innovation;
  • demonstrate an understanding of metropolitan/urban living and the challenges facing individuals struggling with homelessness and food insecurities;
  • strong ability to build external relationships and work with the local community.

Institution & Location

Overview of the Division of Student Life & Dean of Students

Units reporting directly to the associate vice president of student life and dean of students include:

  • Office of the Dean of Students
  • New Student & Family Programs
  • Student Activities and Events
  • Residential Life
  • Campus Recreation
  • Office of Student Conduct
  • Associated Students – The AVP serves as an administrative liaison.

Vision:  A campus community where every student belongs and the student experience matters.

Mission:  The Division of Student Life believes that every SF State student should belong and matter, has the capacity to live a purposeful life, and can positively impact the world.

To that end, the Division of Student Life team at SF State facilitates student-centered learning through personal, professional, community, and academic engagement, culminating in a transformational experience.

We work collaboratively with students, families, faculty, staff, administrators, and others to enhance the overall SF State student experience. As partners in the educational process we:

  • create opportunities for students to integrate curricular and co-curricular learning;
  • promote and support student inclusion in the University decision making process;
  • inform and educate students of their rights and responsibilities as members of the University, San Francisco, and global communities;
  • promote and educate students about social justice and equity;
  • network and collaborate with faculty to enhance the student learning experience;
  • provide educational programs, events, and job opportunities that focus on development of leadership competencies, career and life skills, wellness, critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and crisis management.

Shared Values:  Our work in the Division of Student Life is guided and informed by our commitment and support of SF State’s five core values:

  • Courage: We cultivate courageous conversations and daring leadership.
  • Life of the Mind: We stimulate integration of curricular and co-curricular learning.
  • Equity: We advocate for social justice, equity, and eliminating barriers.
  • Community: We create inclusive and caring communities of challenge and support.
  • Resilience: We celebrate individual and community tenacity and sustainability.

Leadership of the Division

Trey Williams, M.Ed., Interim Associate Vice President for Student Life & Dean of Students

Major Areas of Oversight:

  • Strategic Divisional Vision & Direction
  • Supervision of Divisional Leadership & Office Teams
  • Divisional Budgeting & Staffing Management
  • Presidential Scholars
  • Liaison to Associated Students & Project Rebound
  • Student Crisis & Campus Support
  • Student Success & Graduation Initiative
  • Time, Place Manner Co-Chair


Institutional History

San Francisco State University (commonly referred to as San Francisco State, SF State, and SFSU) is a public university in San Francisco. As part of the 23-campus California State University system, the university offers 118 different bachelor’s degrees, 94 master’s degrees, five doctoral degrees (including two doctor of education degrees, a doctor of physical therapy, a PhD in education, and a doctor of physical therapy science), along with 26 teaching credentials among six academic colleges.

The University was originally founded in 1899 as a state-run normal school for training school teachers, obtaining state college status in 1921, and state university status in 1972. It was the first normal school in the nation to require a high school diploma for admission. The 141-acre campus is located in the southwest part of the city, less than two miles from the Pacific coast. Approximately 8,500 students graduate from SF State each year and the Gator alumni family is more than 321,000 strong. The university’s distinguished alumni can be found in virtually every walk of life. Their accomplishments include 21 Pulitzer prizes, 16 Oscars, the invention of the microprocessor, and (jointly with SF State faculty) the discovery of the first exo-planets beyond the solar system.

University Milestones

  • First graduating class (36 women), 1901
  • First man admitted, 1904
  • First bachelor of arts degree, 1923
  • Four-year program initiated, 1930
  • Liberal arts program first offered, 1935
  • Master’s degree first offered, 1949
  • SF State becomes part of the California State College system (now the California State University system), 1960
  • University status attained, 1972

Number of Names: 5

  • San Francisco State Normal School, 1899-1921
  • San Francisco State Teachers College, 1921-1935
  • San Francisco State College, 1935-1972
  • California State University, San Francisco, 1972-1974
  • San Francisco State University, 1974-present

Number of Presidents: 14


Experientia Docet” (“Experience Teaches”)


The Gator (alligator). Selected by students in 1931, it was originally spelled with an “er” — Golden Gaters — a play on words to emphasize SF State’s location.


SF State is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

Extended Learning

The College of Extended Learning expands the reach of SF State locally and globally. The college offers a wide variety of career-relevant professional development, certificate and degree programs, innovative programming for non-matriculated international students, custom training for organizations and international groups, and conference services and access to SF State through Open University.

Additional SF State Sites

More Support for Students

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, SF State was working to boost support for students by adding more professional advisors and expanding academic tracking. The University is also rolling out a comprehensive new mentoring program that will match every incoming student with a peer upperclassman who will show them the ropes and provide encouragement. As the University pivoted quickly to remote learning that spring, it also began bolstering remote connection: Virtual recreation programs, study groups, events, and socializing opportunities introduced new students to the vibrant and diverse community that awaits them when normal campus life fully resumes.

The Right Step Right Now

The pandemic has some students and families thinking about gap years or other alternatives to a four-year university. But now is not the time to pause an education. Studies show that students who start their college careers at a four-year university are far more likely to earn that degree within four to five years than those who start elsewhere. And that investment in the future is not as expensive as you might think: New full-time students at SF State can expect to pay about $7,200 in tuition next year — and thanks to state and federal financial aid, the cost for some is far less. That is why Forbes includes SF State on its list of America’s Best Value Colleges.

Passionate Professors

You will get more attention from your instructors at SF State. An average class size of fewer than 30 students ensures that professors are available for one-on-one time with students. When the pandemic forced a quick switch to remote learning, these faculty members — many of them award-winning leaders in their fields — were able to convert courses in ways that accommodated both social distancing guidelines and individual student needs.

Alumni Success

SF State alumni are leaders in business, science, journalism, creative writing, film, government, education, and many other fields. The University is consistently one of the top feeder schools for employees at Apple, Google, Kaiser Permanente, Wells Fargo, Oracle, and the San Francisco Unified School District. And collaborations with strategic partners like Genentech and the CSU Entertainment Alliance continue to create new opportunities for students in the state’s top industries. In addition, SF State’s Career Services & Leadership Development Center ensures that every student can get the guidance they need to launch a transformative work life. From SF State, graduates can go anywhere.

Mission and Vision Statements 


From the heart of a diverse community, San Francisco State University honors roots, stimulates intellectual and personal development, promotes equity, and inspires the courage to lead, create, and innovate.

SF State is a major public urban university, situated in one of the world’s great cities. Building on a century-long history of commitment to quality teaching and broad access to undergraduate and graduate education, the University offers comprehensive, rigorous, and integrated academic programs that require students to engage in open-minded inquiry and reflection. SF State encourages its students, faculty, and staff to engage fully with the community and develop and share knowledge.

Inspired by the diversity of our community that includes many first-generation college students and the courage of an academic community that strives to break down traditional boundaries, SF State equips its students to meet the challenges of the 21st century. With the unwavering commitment to social justice that is central to the work of the University, SF State prepares its students to become productive, ethical, and active citizens with a global perspective.


San Francisco State University aspires to be the nation’s preeminent public urban university. Building on a century-long history of offering broad access to undergraduate and graduate education, the University will provide a learning community in which students can equip themselves to meet the challenges of the 21st century workplace and world. We will become an institution of choice for many by offering comprehensive, rigorous, and integrated academic programs that require students to engage in open-minded inquiry and reflection in multiple real-world contexts. We will implement this vision in one of the world’s great cities and its surrounding metropolitan area, making the San Francisco Bay region our classroom as we prepare our students to become active, ethical citizens of a pluralistic democracy, possessing a global perspective.

SF State upholds and embodies the American ideal of e pluribus unum – “out of many, one.” It seeks not only to reflect diversity in its students, faculty, staff, and administrators but also to build a unified and vibrant community by exploring and affirming the many forms of that diversity.

The University aspires to these goals in a turbulent environment. The role of public higher education in modern society is in flux. We face an immediate future of uncertain funding, increasing competition, changing demands, and a shifting student population. Against these challenges, we are committed to developing fully the potential of those from around the state, nation, and world who choose to attend as students or who choose to work at the University, while benefiting the citizens of California whom it is our mission to serve.

As a complex organization, we are made up of many people and experiences. In order to encompass that complexity, we have developed visions for the future of SF State from four perspectives: the Academic Experience, the Student Experience, the Employee Experience, and the University and Its Environment. These four visions, developed by a cross-section of the university community, represent our values and aspirations. Several common themes emerge. Though echoed in different ways in the various sections, they are key unifying elements in a comprehensive vision of the University’s future.

  • Academic excellence.
    The University best serves those who choose to study here by creating demanding and rigorous learning experiences that encourage students to grow. All students will have experiences that challenge them to integrate the knowledge they are acquiring and to apply it to solve problems in multiple real-world contexts in collaboration with colleagues.
  • Improved access and flexibility for diverse communities.
    The wide range of people coming to San Francisco State University in differing capacities necessitates a strong commitment to improved access and flexibility. This commitment will shape the way the University serves its students and delivers its academic programs; the access to resources it provides its employees; and the efforts it makes to meet the needs of the community by providing educational and other services to a wide audience.
  • Engaged and expanded intellectual community.
    The University encourages its members to engage fully with the community, to share knowledge, to move beyond traditional boundaries, and to develop new knowledge to meet new opportunities and serve the needs of multiple internal and external constituencies.
  • Institutional culture that supports change and innovation.
    To meet the challenges of a changing environment, SF State must continue to innovate. We will endeavor to create a university that welcomes innovation, whether it is in delivery of learning opportunities, streamlining of services, building of institutional spirit, or engaging with the community. We will align our processes, procedures, incentives, and evaluation criteria with our central vision and mission.

Strategic Plan

The new strategic plan is built around five values that reflect SF State’s shared heritage and aspirations – Courage, the Life of the Mind, Equity, Community, and Resilience. In pursuit of these values, the plan identifies a number of initiatives that the campus will undertake over the next several years as we work together to build the future of SF State.

  • Courage

Courage follows from and enables principle. Courage propels our willingness to be different and unique –to establish ourselves as a university with a distinct mission and character, rather than a follower in the pattern of others. Courage allows us to hold difficult conversations in broad forums and undergirds our commitment to social justice, to shared governance, to academic freedom, and to student, faculty, and staff activism. Courage recognizes that innovation involves risk and failure, and it embraces change and adversity as opportunities. Courage fortifies our efforts to question conventional wisdom and explore controversial issues in the name of deeper understanding; it energizes our commitment to academic freedom. We celebrate people of intellect and humanity who take positions of principle and stand by them despite academic and social pressure. Courageous scholars form fruitful and respectful partnerships with local and international communities while submitting academic insights to the test of practice, forming new knowledge. The courageous are aware of their vulnerabilities, but they are not resigned to victimization. Courage creates the condition and chief outcome of an education of substance–the ability to “own one’s own mind.”

  • Life of the Mind

By definition, the University is an intellectual community that aspires to encompass the richness and breadth of human knowledge. SF State’s academic mission advances a distinct commitment to critical and collaborative thought, intellectual pluralism, and action. SF State’s faculty are both dedicated teachers and engaged professional practitioners and scholars; teaching is enlivened by faculty who create new knowledge in their academic fields, professional practice, and community engagement, while faculty research and practice are sharpened, and their stakes clarified through the privilege of teaching new skills to students at all levels. We embrace a reciprocal relationship between the University and the world and between experience and knowledge that is captured by our motto, “Experientia Docet.” We value learning that is not bounded by the classroom, archive, or campus but takes place in myriad forms and locations. We nourish and recognize intellectual achievement across a range of academic, creative, and professional spheres, both traditional and forward-looking. And we affirm the life of the mind as a continued source of meaning, purpose, and commitment for all members of our intellectual community.

  • Equity

SF State’s distinctive identity is founded on our commitment to equity. The principles of fairness and inclusion guide our educational mission, our institutional practices, and our relations with the community around us. Our commitment to equity fosters an environment of respect, diversity, support, and dignity for all of our members–faculty, staff, and students. A commitment to equity:

    • sees educational access and academic quality as reciprocal goals;
    • affirms that resources are distributed according to need;
    • empowers students who make the world a better place;
    • eliminates barriers to success.
  • Community

We believe we can teach and support students in educationally purposeful ways when we collaborate with each other and the larger community; we care about and support academic freedom and freedom of speech; we create the space for pluralism and counter stories; we reinforce the tenets of equity and live and learn in ways that are principled and just; we respect the abilities of all students, faculty, and staff and provide opportunities for community members to develop a strong sense of self-worth, care, and respect for others; and we believe in developing strong partnerships that will support the pursuits of our students, faculty, and staff within the local, national, and global communities.

  • Resilience

Resilience is the ability to recover and adapt quickly to difficulty or challenges and transform adversity into opportunity. It is a quality enhanced by intentional planning premised on the socio-cultural, environmental, and economic systems of sustainability, and it is magnified by the ability to anticipate challenges that lie ahead. As the pace and unpredictability of change accelerate in the 21st century, resilience is increasingly indispensable. In this climate, a quality higher education that promotes radical and nimble thinking fosters resilience in people and families. We also recognize that we play a central role in the resilience of our community and the world, not only as the result of the contributions that our graduates make, but through our scholarship, activism, and community-engaged work. As we confront such problems as environmental sustainability and climate change in our classrooms and labs, we recognize our responsibility to help forge resilience in the communities we serve.

To review the entire strategic plan, please visit:


Lynn Mahoney, PhD, President

Lynn Mahoney serves as the 14th president of San Francisco State University, one of the nation’s premier urban comprehensive universities. She leads more than 3,900 faculty and staff as they serve a student population of nearly 30,000. The first woman appointed to serve as the University’s president in a permanent capacity, Mahoney succeeded Leslie E. Wong, who retired in July 2019.

President Mahoney serves on the board of directors for both the Bay Area Council and the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce. She is a member of the Bay Area Higher Education Council, the San Francisco Workforce Investment Board, and the CSU Graduation Initiative 2025 Advisory Committee. Mahoney was also appointed to serve on San Francisco’s COVID-19 Economic Recovery Task Force.

President Mahoney has been recognized for her work in support of student success and academic excellence by the CSU Long Beach Office of Students with Disabilities, the Purchase College Student Government Association, and the United University Professions. In 2021, the California State Student Association (CSSA), the single recognized voice for more than 425,000 students in the CSU system, named her the Robert C. Maxson President of the Year.

Mahoney has spent her academic career working on issues related to enhancing student learning and faculty success and is committed to providing San Francisco State students with an exceptional educational experience.

Approximately 8,500 students graduate from SF State each year and the Gator alumni family is more than 321,000 strong. The University’s distinguished alumni can be found in virtually every walk of life. Their accomplishments include 21 Pulitzer prizes, 16 Oscars, the invention of the microprocessor, and (jointly with SF State faculty) the discovery of the first exo-planets beyond the solar system.

Prior to her appointment at SF State, Mahoney served as provost and vice president for academic affairs at California State University, Los Angeles. Earlier in her career, she served as the associate vice president for undergraduate studies and interim vice provost & dean of undergraduate studies at California State University, Long Beach. Mahoney served in a variety of leadership roles at Purchase College, State University of New York, including associate provost for integrative learning and vice president for student affairs.

Mahoney received a bachelor’s degree in American Studies from Stanford University and a PhD in History from Rutgers University. She is the author of “Elizabeth Stoddard and the Boundaries of Bourgeois Culture” and has lectured extensively on the construction of whiteness in the U.S. and the construction of gender globally.

San Francisco State offers baccalaureate degrees in 73 academic areas; 16 credential programs; 34 certificate programs; 61 master’s degrees; and three doctoral degrees.


  • College of Liberal & Creative Arts
  • Lam Family College of Business
  • College of Education
  • College of Ethnic Studies
  • College of Health and Social Sciences
  • College of Science and Engineering

Academic Programs and Faculty

San Francisco State offers 118 degrees. Whatever students choose to study, they will gain real-world experience — whether it’s from a variety of internship opportunities, field work or more than 500 courses that combine learning with volunteering locally. SF State students have logged in 875,000 community service hours.

The Student Body

Enrollment — Fall 2020

Enrollment Type             Number   Percent

  • Undergraduate         23,926     88%
  • Post Baccalaureate     3,149     12%
  • TOTAL                       27,075


By Sex

Gender                             Number   Percent

  • Women                     15,284      56%
  • Men                            11,751      43%
  • Non-Binary                     40     0.1%


By Ethnicity (Undergraduate)

  • Ethnicity                                               Number   Percent
  • African American                                  1,428      6%
  • American Indian, Alaskan Native           38    0.2%
  • Asian (including Filipino)                   6,814    30%
  • Chicano, Mexican American              6,297    28%
  • Latino                                                      2,786    12%
  • Pacific Islander                                         145      1%
  • Two or More Races                               1,310      6%
  • White Non-Latino                                 3,722   17%
  • TOTAL                                                  22,540

About San Francisco, California

San Francisco, officially the City and County of San Francisco, is the cultural, commercial, and financial center of Northern California. One of the world’s most famous cities, it is the 13th-most populous city in the United States and the fourth-most populous in California, with 884,363 residents as of 2017. It covers an area of about 46.89 square miles, mostly at the north end of the San Francisco Peninsula in the San Francisco Bay Area.

San Francisco is the heart of the Bay Area, a nine-county major metropolitan complex with a population of more than 6.6 million, making it the fifth-largest market in the nation. The San Francisco Bay Area is one of the world’s leading regional economies and centers for international commerce, with an industrial base composed of thousands of technology and professional-services firms, regional and international airports, and seaports. San Francisco’s entrepreneurial and innovative spirit permeates the commercial centers where leading internet and multimedia products are being developed every day.

One of the world’s most ethnically diverse communities, San Francisco enjoys a formidable position in the global marketplace. The Bay Area’s long-standing cultural and commercial ties with Asia and its diverse Asian population are critical components to maintaining San Francisco as the true gateway to the Pacific.

Northern California in general and the San Francisco Peninsula have a world-renowned quality of life. Situated at the core of an area celebrated for its high-tech innovations, the Peninsula includes Daly City, South San Francisco, San Bruno, Burlingame, Millbrae, Hillsborough, San Mateo, Belmont, Half Moon Bay, Redwood City, San Carlos, Atherton, Menlo Park, Palo Alto, Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Los Altos, Santa Clara, and San Jose. This area includes a blend of business and residential communities.

Benefits Overview


San Francisco State University offers the following comprehensive and competitive benefits to employees:

  • Health Care Benefits
  • Medical
  • Dental
  • Vision
  • Flex cash
  • Flexible Benefit Plans
  • Health Care Reimbursement Account (HCRA) Plan
  • Dependent Care Reimbursement Account (DCRA) Plan
  • Pretax Parking Deduction Plan
  • Employee Retirement Planning
  • CalPERS Retirement Plan
  • Voluntary Retirement Savings Plans
  • The CSU 403(b) Supplemental Retirement Plan (SRP)
  • The State of California (CALHR) savings plus 457 deferred compensation plan
  • The State of California (CALHR) savings plus 401(k) thrift plan
  • Income Protection Benefits
  • Nonindustrial Disability Insurance (NDI)
  • Industrial Disability Leave (IDL)
  • Workers’ Compensation
  • Long-Term Disability (LTD)
  • Paid Leave Programs
  • Holidays
  • Vacation
  • Sick Leave
  • Bereavement Leave
  • Catastrophic Leave
  • Parental Leave
  • Organ Donor Leave
  • Jury Duty
  • Unpaid Leave
  • CSU Family Medical Leave (FML)
  • Leaves of Absence
  • Survivor Protection Benefits
  • Life Insurance Benefits
  • Voluntary Life Insurance
  • Voluntary Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) Insurance
  • CalPERS Preretirement Death Benefits
  • Additional CSU Benefits
  • Fee Waiver Program
  • Critical Illness Insurance
  • Accident Insurance
  • Home and Automobile Insurance
  • Legal Plan
  • Pet Insurance
  • Medex Travel Assist Program
  • Life Services Toolkit
  • Credit Union
  • Empathia Life Matters Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

For a more in-depth look at SF State benefits, visit

Application & Nomination

Application and Nomination
Review of applications will begin February 16, 2022 and continue until the position is filled. To apply for this position please click on the Apply button, complete the brief application process, and upload your resume and position-specific cover letter. Nominations for this position may be emailed to Heather J. Larabee at Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.

Visit the San Francisco State University website at

San Francisco State University values diversity and is committed to equal opportunity for all persons regardless of age, color, disability, ethnicity, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status or any other status protected by law.